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Prescribed Fire at GTM Research Reserve Quick Topics

GTM Research Reserve has reintroduced prescribed fire as a management and public safety tool for appropriate fire dependent natural communities. The objective is the restoration of the natural fire cycle to the pyrogenic communities within the reserve.

Specific Objectives
  • Restore fire as an ecological component of the landscape.
  • Restore or preserve pyrogenic communities.
  • Restore or preserve habitat for rare plant and animal species.
  • Promote diversity within natural communities.
  • Maintain natural transitions between communities.
  • Reduce hazardous fuel loading.
Prescribed burn

Prescribed burn of a freshwater swale.

To accomplish these objectives, the fire-adapted communities have been separated into burn zones to be managed by the natural burn frequency. Each burn zone is surrounded by natural and/or man-made fire breaks. A burn plan will be developed each year for the zones that are to be scheduled to be burned within that year. Due to prolonged fire suppression in this area, many communities have an excessive amount of fuel accumulation. These communities mayneed to be burned more frequently until they meet habitat management goals. To best mimic the natural fire season, GTM Research Reserve will conduct prescribed burns during late spring and early summer months. Many of the management units have suffered from lack of fire for several years or even decades. In this situation, prescribed burns are held in early spring or late fall for staff safety.

More information about fire adapted natural communities and prescribed fire at GTM Research Reserve is available in the GTM Research Reserve Management Plan (pdf - 19.0 MB).

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Last updated: April 04, 2011

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